What Is Shaft Flex And What Does It Mean To Your Game

Shaft Flex

What is shaft flex, and what do you know about the shafts in your golf clubs?

If you can’t recite their shaft flex, torque, or even their manufacturer, you aren’t alone. (And you probably aren’t alone if you don’t even know what those terms mean.) Yet, understand them or not, shafts and their properties have a huge impact on your game. Too stiff or soft a shaft flex, and your shots may stray into the rough; too much or too little torque and your shots could be flying everywhere except where you want them to go.

Virtually everybody in the industry acknowledges that the shaft is the most important component of a club. Choosing the right shaft is crucial to lowering your scores as well as giving you the feel and control you desire. But making the right choice can be a confusing process because shafts have so many variables. And because of those many variables, we can’t absolutely, positively tell you the one model that best suits your game.

But we can steer you in the right direction by helping you eliminate many of the wrong choices. Ultimately-and we know you’ve heard this before, but it’s never more true than it is for shafts-it’s going to come down to how a shaft feels to you.

What Is Shaft Flex And, More Importantly, What Is yours?

Aldila DVS 60 Graphite ShaftShaft Flex is the amount of bend in a shaft, typically designated by one of five letters: L (ladies), A (senior), R (regular), S (stiff), and X (extra stiff), from most flexible to least. Swing tempo (elapsed time of your swing) and swing speed (clubhead speed at impact) are the two principal factors in determining your proper flex. If they’re fast, you’ll generally need a stiffer flex. If they’re slower, you can play a more whippy (softer) shaft. When trying to figure their flex, most people overestimate their swing speed and tempo. Get yours measured by a clubfitter or at a golf shop equipped with a speed gun. Take your normal swing for an accurate read so that the clubfitter can offer calculated suggestions.

Why Don’t All Like Flexes Feel the Same?.

Because there are no standards among shaft manufacturers, one brand’s R flex (or any flex, for that matter) won’t feel or perform like another’s. Likewise, the same shaft installed in different clubheads will feel different because of the heads’ specifications-geometry, weight, hosel length, and so on-and their effect on how the shaft reacts. Experts say this is why you’re best off trying several shafts in your current clubs if you’re re-shafting, or in new clubs if you’re considering a purchase. Also note that a shaft with a smaller tip diameter will usually feel soft, a larger tip will feel stiff.

Confused, talk to a Pro. Better Golf Clubs will design a club for you with the right shaft flex, which will not only will help you play better golf, it will also increase your confidence, and optimize your game.

By Joe Conde

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